Two Jacks’ grapples earn wins at invite

Travis Kriens

Travis Kriens

The SDSU wrestling team began its season by hosting over 200 wrestlers at the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open on Nov. 8 at Frost Arena.

Aaron Pickrel was one of two winners on the day for the Jacks as he defeated senior teammate Alan Marvin by injury default in the 125-pound division.

Pickrel, a freshman, completed an outstanding prep career at Watertown High School. He was the runner-up in the 119-pound weight class at the 2008 Class A State Meet, and he posted a pair of third-place finishes as a sophomore and junior.

Overall, Pickrel finished his prep career with 85 pins and a record of 152-11, including a 40-2 mark as a senior. In other competition, Pickrel won an AAU national title after his freshman season and captured a fifth-place finish at the NHSCA Junior Nationals.

Marvin recorded a pin in his first-round match-up by defeating Darrell Oberg of Dakota Wesleyan in 1:48.

The other Jackrabbit to win his bracket was freshman Zach Blindert, who edged Luke Heine of Augustana 6-5 in the 184-pound weight class. On his way to victory, Blindert defeated SDSU graduate assistant Zach Schafer by injury default in the fourth round.

Blindert wrapped up his high school career at McCook Central with a state-record 275 victories, breaking the mark previously held by former Jackrabbit Dan Bonte.

Blindert finished third in the 171-pound weight class as a prep senior. He also was runner-up at 160 pounds as a junior and placed third as a sophomore at 140 pounds.

Jacks assistant coach Nate Hansen placed fourth in the 133-weight class, recording three pins in his first three matches.

The Gregory native won three consecutive South Dakota Class B state titles from 2001-03.

He then went on to a successful collegiate career at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where he earned NCAA Division III All-America honors twice. Hansen placed fourth at 125 pounds in 2006 and then won a national title in the same weight class as a senior in 2007.

Jacks freshman Dustin Walraven from Huron finished fourth in the 141-pound weight class, recording a pin in his first-round match.

In the 197-weight class, junior Jeremy Swier, of Colton, placed sixth, picking up a pin fall victory in the third round.

Jason Stripling started his senior year with a fourth place finish, losing to Lance Peters of Augustana, 3-2. Stripling pinned his first opponent in 4:23. He followed that up with 11-0 and 10-2 wins in rounds two and three, respectively.

The Jacks return to the mat on Nov. 15 to compete at the Harold Nichols Open in Fort Dodge, Iowa.